Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sexism might sell but we aren't buying it.

This U-Tube video highlights some of the reasons women are outraged right now.
It is more than which candidate wins the nomination for President.
It is about the culture in which women are trivialized and marginalized.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Guest Opinion: Clinton strongest candidate in contest against McCain

By TOM TOWE - The Billings Gazette - Sunday, June 01, 2008

Why vote for Hillary Clinton? Because she is a stronger candidate in November.

I really like Barack Obama. I am impressed with some of his stands and his forthright talk. I think he has a great future. But, because I want the Democrats to win this November, I support Hillary. We can't take a chance that the Democrats would lose.

Let's review the facts. First, Hillary has received more of the popular vote than Obama. Since March 1, she has received over half a million more votes than Obama. Obama has won caucus states where not all the people vote. In November it is the people that vote, not the caucuses. More people have voted for Hillary than for any other Democratic primary candidate in the history of the Democratic Party. She is the people's choice.

Second, Hillary has won all the big states important to the Democrats this fall. She has won states that have 308 electoral votes, enough to win in the fall. Obama's wins are largely in Republican and small states that are simply not as important as the large swing states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Florida and Michigan. Four years ago, we lost Ohio and Florida; a change in either would have changed the presidency. Let's send our strongest candidate for the November contest.

Third, Hillary won West Virginia by 41 percentage points and Kentucky by 35 percentage points. In April she raised $22 million, her second-highest fundraising month in the campaign. She is getting stronger every day.

Fourth, Hillary has proven she can get the working-class votes from Middle America that Democrats must have to win. The Reagan Democrats will vote for Hillary. She has proven that in West Virginia and Kentucky. I doubt if the Reagan Democrats will vote for Obama. Obama may earn the respect of Democrats and intellectual independents, but the huge number of ordinary independents, the Reagan Democrats, and the Republicans simply won't vote for him.

Fifth, Obama has not yet been subject to the huge barrage of criticism that will come when he finally becomes the nominee. Criticism he has received so far in a polite Democratic primary will be nothing compared to what he will receive from the right-wing "stop Obama" people and "Swift Boat" Republicans. Hillary has been tested with all the criticism that Republicans and right-wing politicos can throw at her. And she has survived. She is a fighter. She can handle it. John Kerry couldn't. Can Obama? Why take a chance?

Finally, Hillary won states even when she was outspent. She was outspent 3-1 in Pennsylvania, 2-1 in Texas, and even in West Virginia where she won by 41 points. This is the kind of candidate we need for the fall campaign.

Hillary Clinton can win in the fall. Maybe Obama can too. But why take a chance?

In addition, I think Hillary has shown more substance. Her health care plan, her commitment to rebuild the middle class and her plans to create millions of new, good jobs are indeed impressive. As her husband before her, she can be a great president. And we can all be proud to have the first woman president.

This has been the most exciting primary ever. It has been great for the Democratic Party. It has attracted more voters than ever in the history of this country. Look how it has invigorated our party and focused attention on Democrats. Montana, the last state to vote, really has a voice this time. It matters. Vote for Hillary Clinton on June 3.

Democrat Tom Towe is a Billings attorney and former state senator.

Copyright © The Billings Gazette, a division of Lee Enterprises.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Judge sides with Texas Democratic Party in flap over delegates

Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2008

AUSTIN – A federal judge sided with the Texas Democratic Party on Thursday in a lawsuit filed by Latino voter advocates who claimed the party's method for apportioning presidential delegates is discriminatory.

U.S. District Judge Fred Biery in San Antonio ruled that the spirit and intent of the federal Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voters, was not violated, as the League of United Latin American Citizens and other plaintiffs alleged.

Biery dismissed the case. He ruled that the Voting Rights Act does not dictate to political parties how to decide on their presidential nominees as long as everyone has the right to participate.

The Latino voter advocates claimed the complicated Texas delegate system – which included a March 4 primary and caucus and senate district caucuses March 29 – unfairly dilutes Latino votes by allotting fewer presidential delegates to heavily Hispanic areas.

Nearly all the delegates are apportioned based on Democratic voter turnout numbers in state senate districts in previous elections. This year, that meant that some predominantly Hispanic districts, where turnout was low in 2004 and 2006, got fewer delegates than others, particularly urban, predominantly black districts where Democratic turnout was higher.

Latino districts favored Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in this spring's primary and caucuses; black districts favored Sen. Barack Obama.

Democratic leaders contend their state delegate system is fair and that it rewards those areas that strongly support the party.

"We are pleased with Judge Biery's ruling, but it is important to remember that both the Texas Democratic Party and LULAC respect the importance of the Voting Rights Act and encourage participation by Texans from all walks of life in the electoral process," Texas Democratic Party chairman Boyd Richie said.

Jose Garza, an attorney for the Latino voter advocates, said it's likely the plaintiffs will appeal the opinion to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, though a final decision hasn't been made.

He said there may be an appeal because of the important issues at stake in the case and the "fairly devastating scope of the decision." Garza declined to say anything further until discussing it with his clients.

The plaintiffs were not contesting to whom the delegates were awarded, but rather how the allotment is made.

The judge wrote that the plaintiffs never alleged that Latino voters were "intimidated, threatened or otherwise kept from voting." He said if they had gone to the polls in greater numbers in previous elections they would have benefited.

"The adage remains 'no vote, no voice,"' he wrote.

The case was filed earlier this month. Both sides were pushing for a ruling before the party's state convention in Austin on June 6-7, where the final decision on caucus delegates to the national convention for Clinton and Obama will be made.

Texas will send 228 delegates to the national convention. Of those, 126 were determined by primary results, while 67 others are pledged delegates distributed through a series of caucuses, culminating with the upcoming state convention. There are 32 superdelegates who can make their own decision on which candidate to support, and three others will be named by the state party chairman.

Democratic Party officials had noted that the general system for selecting Texas presidential delegates has been in place for 20 years.

Biery agreed, and said the reason it got such notice this year was because of the close presidential race. The judge also mentioned his own background as a Democrat and the fact that he was appointed by former President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

He wrote: "Notes of full disclosure: Senator Clinton's husband nominated me to the federal bench, and I hope to shoot baskets some day with Senator Obama."

Read more in the Dallas Morning News

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